How to Get Into Modelling in the UK
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Modelling has always been a popular career choice for young teens, but it is also one of the most competitive and difficult to break into industries.
Getting into modelling may be difficult, but it’s not impossible for the hard-working. Read on to discover our 8 top tips for entering the modelling industry.
1. Be Smart
Modelling isn’t about just turning up and looking pretty – there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and it’s your job to learn about and understand it.
Models need to know how to look their best in any situation. They also need to know how to market themselves and how to network. They need to understand fashion, know different photographers and their styles, know brands and publications. They need to understand how editing works, how to negotiate a contract, and how to stay safe.
Learn as much about the industry as you can. The more you know, the easier you will find it. Many models learn on the job, but you can learn a decent amount about it beforehand.
You don’t need to attend a modelling course or buy modelling lessons. You can learn most of what you need just by researching online and following successful models on social media.
2. Be Healthy & Active
Models need good physiques year-round, so you need to be conscious about your nutrition. You’ll also need a good exercise routine to keep fat off, create lean limbs and tone muscles.
Learning about healthy eating habits and exercising is important to know as soon as possible. Many famous models claim to have had unhealthy diets initially due to ignorance; they vouch for learning about healthy diets and how to keep fit.
The sooner you learn, the better your body will look and feel down the line and the more natural it will feel for you to choose healthier choices. Don’t forget to indulge occasionally – there’s no harm in treating yourself from time to time. An 80% healthy, 20% unhealthy diet is what most models tend to follow.
If you can afford to, it’s a great idea to talk to a professional nutritionist to figure out what works best for your personal body type. A personal trainer can also cater workouts for you to help you keep slim and fit.
3. Make the Most of Your Looks
Models need to look good year-round because it’s their job. That means regularly exercising, a consistently healthy diet, a good skincare routine, and understanding what makes you uniquely attractive.
There is no definition of beauty – take a look at all the top models to understand how differently beauty is perceived. But there is something that makes us each uniquely beautiful. Work out what that is for you. Maybe it’s your beautiful eyes or bright smile. Perhaps you have amazing skin, or long, lean legs. Whatever it is, discover it so you can start to emphasize it.
Hair stylists and make-up artists will help you make the most of your face. Your personal trainer and a nutritionist will help you make the most of your body. But you are the best person to figure out what really make you stand out from the crowd. If you’re struggling to figure out what it is, try asking friends and family. Study photos of top models and figure out what it is that makes them beautiful.
4. Model Portfolio
Your portfolio is perhaps the most important modelling tool as it will help you gain work. It contains up to 20 high-quality photos to show off your modelling experience and talents.
Having an amazing portfolio is key to a model’s success. A portfolio will be taken to every audition and casting call they are invited to. It will also help you land a position at a modelling agency.
You should only include your absolute best photos in your portfolio. You should also try to choose photos that reflect the niche of modelling you are trying to enter; for example, top models will have lots of editorial shots and catwalk stills in their portfolios, while lingerie models will have more underwear and bikini-type images, and fitness models will have more athletic and fitness-inspired shots.
If you are new to modelling and do not yet have any high-quality images, you’ll need to hire a professional photography studio to help you create some images.
You’ll also need to include other information in your portfolio such as your body measurements, UK dress size, shoe size, contact information and any details about your agency if you are signed. Be as accurate as possible about your measurements, and update them as soon as you can if they change. It’s best to check your measurements every few months.
A z-card is another helpful tool for models. It’s essentially a type of business card that features a few of your best shots as well as your modelling measurements and contact information. They’re handy for giving out at events and when networking.
Networking is a huge part of being a model as it is a fairly nepotistic industry and knowing people is sure to get you work. Having some z-cards on you at all times means you don’t have to carry around your heavy portfolio constantly. It also saves time when passing on your information to people you meet.
6. Getting Signed
Most models choose to get signed to a modelling agency when entering the business. A handful remains freelance, but they have to look for jobs themselves and miss out on having an industry professional behind them. Aspiring models who are new to the field should focus on getting an agency as it will be the best chance of them finding work. However, getting signed in itself is no easy feat.
If you can get signed, this is a good indication that you would do well in the modelling industry and have a chance of finding work. There are hundreds of modelling agencies you can apply to, and you can apply to as many as you want, as many times as you want – most will have an application process on their website. Be mindful that not all are reputable agencies and it’s up to you to do your research and make sure they are legitimate before you apply.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back – most agencies are overwhelmed with applications and reject thousands of hopefuls every day. Keep trying and in the meantime try to boost your modelling experience and portfolio photos by applying for work experience or other jobs you’re able to find.
7. Social Media
Nowadays, many models are able to achieve successful modelling careers off the back of social media, in particular Instagram. Models who may not meet the strict criteria of high-fashion, and anyone who wishes to build a fanbase, should think about creating their own social media modelling accounts.
Be warned, however – this is not a short-cut and it can be a lot of work. Maintaining a good social media presence is time-consuming and it can take a while to build a decent following. However, if you’re determined and have the time to do so, a good social media platform with a decent following can soon start making you money. It will also attract the attention of brands and agencies, and enable you to find modelling work through it.
8. Don’t Give Up
Modelling is a very competitive industry because so many people want to do it. That means models regularly face rejection, and you must be OK with this. If you’re the type of person who takes rejection badly, you’ll struggle to stay positive – and it’s vital that you have a positive outlook if you want to succeed in modelling.
Modelling requires dedication. Keep going and if you work hard enough you’ll soon get there.
– Remember that main cities like London and Manchester are most likely to host the most agencies and modelling work. If you are located a long distance away from these places, prepare for plenty of travel.
– Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet the strict requirements for runway models – there are plenty of other modelling options out there such as commercial, fitness, petite, swimsuit,glamour models and more.
– Practice in front of the camera as much as you can so you learn your best angles as well as how to use natural lighting, as well as artificial lighting, to your advantage.
– Try to get as much photo shoot experience as you can.
– Have a model-inspired outfit planned out to wear when you are invited to see an agency or brand.
– Learn how to do your own hair and make-up so you always look and feel good.
– Keep updated about any fashion industry news by reading magazines and keeping articles online.
– Be prepared to make some sacrifices to make auditions and modelling jobs.
– Female models should regularly check and update their bust size as this fluctuates all the time.